William Butterfield had little more than 100 square feet of real estate to work with, but designed perhaps the greatest example of High Victorian Gothic architecture. The spire soars 227 feet above London and its interior is a kaleidoscope of color and pattern that expresses the vision of the Oxford Movement and the Ecclesiological Society. In 1841, the Society announced its intentions for their model church:
It must be in a Gothic Style.
It must be built of solid materials.
Its ornament should decorate its construction.
Its artist should be ‘a single pious and laborious artist alone, pondering deeply over his duty to do his best for the service of God’s Holy Religion’.
Above all the church must be built so that the “Rubricks and Canons of the Church of England may be Consistently observed, and the Sacraments rubrically and decently administered.”
Smarthistory images for teaching and learning:
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